Is the DUTCH Test Helpful for Thyroid Patients?
Average Read Time: 3 minutes
Q & A with Dr. Debbie Rice
Our bodies are complex systems, but luckily there are several diagnostic tests we can utilize as thyroid patients to help us better understand why we feel the way we feel. Maybe we’re wondering why we still feel lousy, even though our thyroid meds are optimized. Maybe we notice a change in our stress and anxiety levels. Maybe we’re reaching an age where we’re beginning to feel some hormonal ‘tremors’. When we’re looking for answers, the DUTCH test can be a powerful tool.
We reached out to naturopath Dr. Debbie Rice to learn more about DUTCH testing for hormones. Dr. Debbie is the assistant medical director at DUTCH Test. The DUTCH test is revered by integrative, functional, and naturopathic practitioners as the BEST way to get a complete hormonal picture. In this interview, she shares the in’s, out’s and other details about Dried Urine Testing for Comprehensive Hormones.
What is DUTCH testing?
DUTCH testing, which stands for Dried Urine Testing for Comprehensive Hormones, is a comprehensive and valuable tool for testing sex hormones and adrenal hormones. It does not test thyroid hormones as these are best tested in blood (serum).
The DUTCH test evaluates how much hormone your body is making, as well as what the body is doing with the following hormones:
These are important in evaluating changes in a woman’s cycle/period, sleep, mood, weight changes and stress response.
Tell us about the DUTCH test experience. How does it work?
The DUTCH test is completed by peeing on individual strips 4–5 times through the day. This usually starts with a collection at dinner time, then again at bed time, as soon as you wake up the next day, and then two hours after waking for the day. There is an option to collect in the middle of the night if you tend to wake up and not sleep through the night.
Once the strips have been urinated on, they are set out to dry, and then dropped in the mail so the lab can run the strips. The lab pulls the amounts of hormones off the strips and is able to present the information for your hormone profile.
What about cost?
The cost depends on which kind of DUTCH Test you buy, as well from whom you purchase it. On dutchtest.com, for example, the DUTCH Complete is listed at $399, but it is likely more affordable through a practitioner. (The price can be as low as $250.) DUTCH strongly encourages people to seek out a professional to help them review the testing results, as these can be quite confusing, in order to create an optimal treatment plan.
There are costs associated with some practices and states that may render the cost higher than $250 (i.e., administrative costs per state/per practice), so the cost may vary.
*If you’d like to purchase a DUTCH test directly from their website, use code THYREFRESH50 for $50 off a DUTCH Complete or a DUTCH Plus! (*Not valid on individual tests like Adrenal only, OATs only, or sex hormones only*)
How can DUTCH testing help thyroid patients?
The thyroid gland and hormones are part of a very complex system. The thyroid gland is the main metabolizer (think metabolism in general) of the body and is best friends with the adrenal glands.
The thyroid and adrenal glands work together to make sure you can deal with the stress of daily life, put one foot in front of the other, and manage any stressors that come your way. The adrenal glands produce cortisol and DHEA, which we know as our stress hormones. As stress increases, cortisol production increases. As cortisol increases, thyroid becomes less effective.
Cortisol is sometimes misrepresented as the bad guy when it comes to belly fat and weight gain, but the truth is it is all about balance across the board. This balance includes looking at sex hormones like progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, the adrenal hormones of cortisol and DHEA, and thyroid hormones.
Evaluation of hormone levels can offer more information on what the body is producing as well as how the body is using these hormones. We depend on our liver function to help with detoxification in general, and this includes our hormones as well.
If our liver is not clearing our hormones well, it can cause “congestion” of these hormones as they build up in the system and are not able to get cleared from the body. I like to refer to all of these hormones as the “Goldilocks Hormones” because they are very sensitive and prefer to be “just right” — too much of one hormone is a problem, but too little of a hormone is a problem as well!
When these hormones are out of balance, we can get symptoms such as:
- Mood changes
- Poor sleep quality
- Irregular periods, changing periods, or heavier periods
- Weight gain
- Brain fog
- Changes in digestion (constipation and/or diarrhea)
- And more
Because there are so many hormones that influence all these symptoms, it is important and necessary to evaluate these levels appropriately so we can address them effectively. The DUTCH test can give us a better understanding of how all these hormonal players are getting along in your body.
up next: SUPPORTING YOUR LIVER AND KIDNEYS WITH 8 DETOXIFYING FOODS
Can I interpret DUTCH test results myself?
We generally recommend working with a provider who is DUTCH literate as the DUTCH test contains a lot of information, and may seem quite complicated upon first review.
The amount of information on the DUTCH test may also present multiple options for treatment and we recommend working with a provider who can empower and optimize your health options moving forward.
At DUTCH, our Customer Service is ready and available to offer information regarding providers in your area! Please call or email/chat with our Customer Service team to get you connected and on your way to working with a provider that can get you access to not only DUTCH testing, but also treatment and support to relieve any symptoms you may be experiencing!
DUTCH Test Customer Service: 503-687-2050, or firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I order a DUTCH test and find someone to interpret the results?
You can find a DUTCH test provider in your area by using our find-a-provider database at Dutchtest.com. We strongly recommend working with a provider who is familiar with and literate in interpreting DUTCH testing results.
In closing, do you have any practical tips for thyroid patients that can help us feel well and avoid hormonal mayhem?
- Sleep! Our body relies on sleep for healing and regeneration. Poor sleep usually leads to poor thyroid and poor cortisol response…therefore fatigue, brain fog, and just plain feeling lousy! ☹
- Stable blood sugar: Make sure to eat well. This includes not just the foods you put in your mouth, but the timing of when you put the food in your mouth. Blood sugar influences energy levels, nutrient support, and co-factors needed for all the metabolic processes of the body.
- Movement! Move your body! Being sedentary is like the new smoking! We need movement to ensure health.